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Baby Doc & S-J :'You Shouldn't need 50 Pills to Appreciate Music'-Arriba

Author: Skruff
Thursday, November 9, 2000
Baby Doc & S-J, the First Couple of hard house and trance, set up their own label Arriba earlier this year, following countless record deals with many of Britain's biggest and best record labels. Baby Doc (aka Quinn) first made his name in the early 90s, adding a pumping danceable London vibe to the uncompromising Belgium techno then being put out by the likes of CJ Bolland and R&S Records. Later hooking up with equally prolific producer Jon The Dentist, their productions became standards amongst many of the DJs then tearing up Trade and Club UK's Final Frontier (London's best, though still largely unrecognised club of the 90s.) S-J, Quinn's long term girlfriend, is also one of the scene's real faces, marrying her strong vocal performances with a healthy dose of glamour. Mezz caught up with them both at their Shoreditch studio this week (next door to Jon Carter and Death In Vegas's rooms).

mezzmusic: What's the idea behind Arriba-

S-J: "Arriba is the brainchild of mine and Quinn's and is intended to be a platform for talented people to come together to make good music. We've got a great stable of friends involved, people like Pete Wardman, Malcolm Duffy and Kenny C (all former Trade DJs), while we're also aiming to break new artists like Eufex. We're essentially all about promoting talent."

mezz: Arriba's releases already have a certain hard house/ Trade style sound...

S-J:" We direct the recording sessions from our studio, so there's always elements of us in the music - Quinn mixes all the tunes. That's mainly because we're so experienced and we know how to create tunes, so we're there to help people achieve what they want, even if they're relatively novice producers themselves."

mezz: Quinn, you're one of the main pioneers of the sound known as hard house, how do you feel about today's scene-

Baby Doc:"(laughing) It's all been bastardised, I feel embarassed.... No, I shouldn't say that but,... You shouldn't need 50 pills (ecstasy pills) to appreciate music but these days a lot of DJs are competing to have the top moment of the night, when everything's banging away. It's the same record and the same samples being churned out by 50 different people, then being copied again whereas there's still lots of decent music out there. Everyone copies to some degree and you can't help but be influenced, but if you've heard a good record you shouldn't just set about replicating it."

mezz: You've both been signed to major and independent labels previously, what prompted you to set up your own thing-

Baby Doc:"I had management problems and also started to realise that I wasn't happy on a major label, really because of the way that I worked and they worked, didn't fit together. Needing to plan singles 6 months ahead and having to worry about who's going to like it and how well it would do, was really stressing me out. All these pressures 'did my head in' (frustrated him) and creatively made me unable to write anything.. It's not just majors, though, quite a few independent labels are the same - it's not their fault necessarily, it's just the way the systems work."

S-J:"We thought, 'What if we can make a success of our own careers, from our own efforts- It was that 'What if-' factor that spurred us on"

mezz: How was last week's gig in Melbourne-

S-J:" We played at the Hard Candy first birthday party, they've been supporting us for four years and we drew a huge audience of 3,500; the

scene's really good out there. They've actually got homegrown talent, which is really exciting, so when you go to the clubs in Australia, they've got their own DJs really kicking it, too. Quite often when you go abroad, all the DJs are brought in."

Baby Doc: "I like Australian audiences, they're really intelligent, they listen to the music and they really love it. Some crowds just want to dance without really listening. I<